breakfastofchampions: (nelius)
[personal profile] breakfastofchampions
Thanks to everyone who gave me prompts! You can still give me more, here. I'm going to try to do at least one prompt from each prompt-comment. :3

Title: Heartless
Universe: Wind & Foxes
Characters: Imbri, Nelius
Word count: 803
Warnings: none
Notes: Based on a prompt from redvelvetaddict, who wanted Imbri and Nelius interacting. They don't interact a lot in the novel, but they basically live in the same family for decades following the events of the novel, so they must have a relationship of some kind.


Nelius gave a start, not expecting to turn and see someone standing behind him. He was usually aware of being approached long before the person approaching him arrived.

"Hello," said Imbri brightly, his smile so broad that his eyes shrank as it spread. "I brought you your dinner."

Nelius nodded.

"Reian's busy at the moment, so he sent me along instead."

Nelius nodded again. He took the small bundle Imbri was holding and unwrapped it to reach the food inside. There was savory bread and sweet bread, as well as dried fruit and dried meat. He put it down on the ground beside him, where it rested neatly upon the cloth it had been wrapped in. Imbri sat down near him. This gave Nelius pause. He had expected the man to return to the camp at once, his errand completed, but no, Imbri crossed his legs and looked as if he would not be leaving anytime soon.

Nelius nodded, a little warily. The man was strange to him. Imbri had no blood in common with Nelius. Nelius had never met anyone like him. Sometimes, when he looked at Imbri, he didn't see a man at all. He saw a small, bright animal, shining silver. Like a star. Not now. Now, he resembled a man like any other man. He sat through all of Nelius' meal. Probably he would have left if Nelius had asked him to, but Nelius did not mind Imbri's presence, and he did not speak. He ate his food in silence, and Imbri, too, was silent.

When he was done, Imbri remained. Nelius considered him. What did he want? Or did he want anything? If Nelius used his power to listen to the world around him, he could hear Reian's heart beating. He could hear Pasha's heart, also, or the heart of any living person or animal. He was aware of all the life surrounding him. The warmth of it, the motion.

Except Imbri. His sorcery could not touch or perceive Imbri.

"Was it good?" Imbri asked him.

"Yes," said Nelius. He didn't need to eat a great deal, but Reian insisted that he eat regular meals every day, so he did.

"What are you thinking?" Imbri asked then, leaning in a little closer.

It was a question Nelius would have ordinarily found difficult to answer. He often found himself thinking many things at once, but Imbri himself had simplified the matter in this moment.

"I wonder why you have no heartbeat," said Nelius.

Imbri's eyes were blue, and that was odd, too. Even among Vatans, light-colored eyes were rare. Imbri's eyes were curious, too. "That's what you were thinking about?"

"Yes."

"I do have one. Here." Imbri took his hand. Nelius usually disliked being touched, but as his senses told him that Imbri was not a person, he did not mind the contact. He did not recoil. He allowed Imbri to guide his hand and place it below Imbri's collarbone, above where his heart should be.

He did feel a heartbeat there, pulsing beneath his fingers. But--

"It isn't real," said Nelius. The senses of his body felt the rhythm, but the senses of his sorcery showed him no movement, no life. When he concentrated, he felt nothing in Imbri but a great emptiness: like the sky.

"That's quite a thing to say. Do you mean to suggest I don't have a heart?"

Was that it? Did he not have a heartbeat because he didn't have a heart? It was an obvious reason for the lack, yet he had not thought of it, because as obvious as it was, it was almost unthinkable. A person without a heart. "Yes."

Imbri shook his head. "What an idea. Not having a heart sounds awful."

"No," said Nelius.

Imbri laughed. "You need a heart. You're human. A human without a heart would do terrible things."

Nelius didn't say anything to that. He looked at him.

"You've done terrible things," said Imbri. A change came over him, like a warm day turning cold.

Nelius shuddered. He felt no pulse, no breath, in the man's body, but suddenly he did feel a force--not a rhythm or a regularity, but a ragged sense of motion. It was forceful but broken, like something powerful and wounded stirring.

"But you have a heart," Imbri concluded, still smiling, and the odd motion inside him, so briefly sensed, died down. "You regret what you did. You didn't mean it."

Nelius nodded. Then, he returned Imbri's smile. A smile was a gesture he rarely performed, but he made his lips move a little. Imbri did have a heart. Nelius had finally felt its beat just now. He had misunderstood, because he'd thought all hearts were more or less the same. He hadn't known that one could beat so slowly.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-09 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] redvelvetaddict.livejournal.com
Awwww yaaaaay ;_________; <3

Emptiness, like the sky <3333
AND SAD, TERRIBLE THINGS.

And I'm glad Reirei makes him EAT ;3

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-09 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] foxysquid.livejournal.com
Appropriate icon there!

Aww, thanks so much. I'm really glad you liked this.

And yes, Reian looks after his man. Though Nelius would really be okay without eating for a while, haha. STILL, IT'S THE PRINCIPLE OF THE THING. :3

(no subject)

Date: 2011-01-10 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] armistice-day.livejournal.com
Sometimes, when he looked at Imbri, he didn't see a man at all. He saw a small, bright animal, shining silver. Like a star.

I adore the idea of different kinds of hearts beating differently, at different rates.
Oh, Imbri's heart. Oh, Nelly's heart.

Haha, and I know where Reian's heart is. ♥

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